Our First All Grain Batch

So we had so much fun last week that we decided to move on to an all grain batch.  Just two days ago UPS delivered the false bottom and sparge arm we ordered from HomeBrew Heaven in Washington State.

I dont know how this is going to turn out with Steve at Taco Mac drinking and Chris leaving before we even start our sparge…

 Ok, this is now being written by Eileen.  Which is a good thing because now it will be less whiny (Jamie), less obtuse (Chris), and less angling for girls (Steve).  However, I do have a problem with verb tenses and the not switching back and forth within the same narrative.  I also (as of right now) know nothing about making beer.  However, this won’t be the first time I’ve written authoritatively on something I know nothing about (see: every essay I ever wrote in college).  I wasn’t actually here for the brewing this week because I was in New York being hungover (for real, had to change to a later flight and everything) so I didn’t witness any of this personally.  Nor have I been privy to the results.  This all to say maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t.  

This week the boys endeavored to make the Sam Smith Oatmeal Porter.  Unlike last week, which used a kit, this was an all-grain batch and therefore more complicated and snippy-comment inducing.  The new “brew system” was put into action–which involved cutting, drilling and welding stainless steel (Jamie, “Which Chris did…an..okay job on.”).  After the welding, the newly arrived false bottom was used for the mashtun.  The Fontis water was then boiled and the mash begun (this apparently means the grains are dumped into hot water and steeped for 90 minutes).  The oats had also been roasted in the oven for 75 minutes.  Then the mash was sparged.  This did not go as well as hoped because they didn’t set the grain bed properly, which resulted in a lot of trub (grain particules that didn’t get strained out).  Then they started a ninety minute boil with five gallons of wort.  This went well except that evaporation had not been anticipated for so after the wort cooled and was racked in the primary fermenter, they were short about half a gallon of liquid. (Jamie interrupts the narrative to add, “Steve showed up about now.  And he was drunk. And no help at all.”) Then the wort cooled in an ice bath. And they [Jamie] pitched the yeast, capped if off and put the airlock on. (Jamie again interrupts the narrative to add, “Chris showed up at this point.”)  Chris snapped some pictures of the first all-grain batch, which are available for viewing.  And in a couple weeks we’ll find out the result.

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